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Blog Cop: Police officer’s blog wins prestigious mental health award

25 January 2013

Michael Brown

Michael Brown (second-left) at the Mind UK award ceremony with Stephen Fry (far right)

A Cardiff School of Social Sciences alumnus has received a prestigious award for his blog on policing and mental health.

Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, awarded Michael Brown with the ‘Digital Media Award’ at a recent celebrity-endorsed awards night on London’s South Bank. Michael was presented with the award by Honorary Fellow Stephen Fry, who has strongly supported the University’s mental health research for many years.

Michael is a serving police inspector with West Midlands Police where he has a particular interest in mental health issues. In 2011, he started writing a blog (in his spare time) on policing and mental health in order to highlight the issues faced by the police in dealing with mental health calls and the associated partnership problems.

Michael said: "I started the blog to provide officers with information about how to handle mental health calls and to manage clinical risks which are often passed to the police where safety risks also prevail.”

The award-winning blog called Mental Health Cop – now with more than 7,000 followers - has developed into a resource packed with hundreds of short articles, legislative summaries, opinion pieces and other sources of guidance. It is also suggested reading on a range of university courses including nursing, policing and law at various institutions across the country.

Michael added: “I am delighted that the information on the blog is of interest and of use to students, academics and health and social care professionals, as well as to patients, carers and families.  Winning the award was a very pleasant surprise and it’s nice for the blog to gain that recognition.”

Michael studied an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the School of Social Sciences from 2002 to 2004. His former supervisor at the School, Professor Amanda Robinson, said: "It comes as no surprise that Michael has made such an important, creative and practical contribution to improve the police response to mental health incidents. No one that has ever met him could fail to notice the immense dedication and energy that he brings to his work. The combination of his extensive professional and academic expertise brings enormous insight to this complex area of policing."

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